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THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE BUYING REAL ESTATE
FINISHED ATTIC PROBLEM – Edison, New Jersey: A woman bought an older colonial that was in really good condition, the previous owner was an excellent carpenter that kept the house well maintained. About a year after she moved in, she decided to finish the attic area and applied for a permit. When the township inspector came to the house to inspect for the permit he gave her some shocking news. The two window dormers in the attic were illegal construction; no permits were obtained for their construction. The inspector informed her that the construction of the dormer did not meet code and would have to be re-framed. Needless to say, the seller was nowhere to be found and the re-framing of the dormer to meet code was a substantial added expense
PLUMBING PROBLEM – Dunellen, New Jersey: A retired lady decided to sell her house and move to another state where she had children living. The realtor found a good buyer and everything was going along smoothly until the township inspector arrived for the certificate of occupancy inspection. The inspector found all new plumbing had been installed without a permit. To obtain a C of O the woman would have to take out a plumbing permit and have a licensed plumber certify the plumbing. It seems that the plumbing nightmare began when her brother , a licensed plumber, did the complete job without a permit and passed away without ever getting the permit. The woman did get a plumber to certify someone else’s work; a task which was very expensive and not easy. Needless to say, the hold up for the C of O affected the mortgage rate, the commitment, the attorney’s closing date, and the movers moving date.
VACANT HOUSE PURCHASE – The following are some special cautions to take when buying a vacant dwelling:
1. Ensure that all the utilities are turned on and functional. Make sure the water, electric and the heating system are functional before ordering a home inspection. If any one of these systems is not functional at the time of inspection, the house should not be inspected. To purchase a home without a through inspection of any one of the utilities could lead to some very expensive repairs. For example, if the water is not turned on, none of the plumbing, the bathrooms, the hot water heater, the dishwasher, the kitchen sink and possibly the complete heating system can not be inspected. The home inspector is only responsible for what can be inspected the day of inspection. If he has to return to inspect something that was not available for inspection at the time of inspection, there is an extra charge.
2. Many times vacant houses have been vacant for a long time and are sold at what appears to be a great price. However, vacant houses sometimes develop some hidden problems that eliminate the savings. Some hidden problems may be:
a. Broken or leaking pipes in the wall that are not visible
b. Sheet rock or plaster damage to the walls or ceilings caused by improper heating. (If the house was not being heated and the house interior temperature dropped to the freezing point, the result can be some serious damage.)
c. Animals, such as squirrels, birds, or raccoons, have moved into the attic.
To be sure that the bargain price on a vacant house is really a bargain, we have two recommendations: First, get a good home inspection, and second, get exact repair cost of any repairs that the inspector recommends. In other words, don’t guess at repairs for which there could be hidden costs.
3. A house that has been vacant for a long time (over a year) one should really try to find out why it remained vacant for so long. One should investigate the following:
a. Was the house over priced? Houses that are priced right usually sell.
b. Is it an estate sale? Most times the house can’t be sold till the estate is settled.
c. Is there a structural problem?
d. Is there an environmental problem? A vacant house with a water leak is a prime candidate for mold.
e. Has there been an environmental clean up from a leaking in ground oil tank?
f. Is there a termite damage problem?
TERMITE INSPECTION – Never, never, never, buy a house in New Jersey without having a good thorough termite inspection. Eight out of ten houses we inspect have some type of termite damage. However, most of the time the damage we find is minor and can be fixed for a few hundred dollars. The houses with the serious damage are usually houses that have water penetration problems and have not been properly maintained. The following is some good information about termites and the termite inspection:
1. Don’t panic and lose a good house because it has termites. As mentioned earlier, usually the termite damage can be repaired and with the modern termite treatment termites are easy to eliminate.
2. Check with your mortgage company and find out if you need a clear termite certification to obtain a mortgage particularly if you are buying a condo. Most condo associations will repair any termite damage, but will not give a clear termite certification required by the mortgage company. The catch 22 is that you may find yourself in a situation where you’re buying a condo located on the second floor where you know there are no termites, yet the mortgage company wants a clear termite certification. If you find yourself in this position, hire a termite inspector and get the clear termite certificate.
3. Always have a house inspected for termites and always hire your own termite inspector. The seller may have a termite treatment contract and insurance policy but that doesn’t mean there is no damage. It is not uncommon for a dwelling to have termite damage that has not been repaired even though there is a treatment contract and insurance policy. We also suggest that you, the buyer, read the disclosure statement to see if any termite repair work was done, and, if so, how extensive was the repair.
RADON – First of all, I recommend that you don’t terminate the purchase of a good house over a high radon reading. Simply defined, radon gas is a natural form of radioactive gas, which is developed by the decay of granite rock and certain soils. As per the EPA, if the radon level in the home is equal to or greater than 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) it is dangerous to your health. The radon test is conducted in the lowest living level of the house and the basement is considered a living level. Years ago, when radon was first discovered, the installation of a radon venting system was very expensive, and a house with high radon was hard to sell. Today the cost of a radon venting system is very reasonable and appears to have little or no effect on the resale value of a house. In other words, don’t let a high radon level stop you from buying a house, but you would certainly want the seller to pay for the venting system. The exact price of a radon venting system, (mitigation system) varies according to the size of the house and whether or not the house has a sump pump or French drain. However, to give the reader an idea of price, the average cost is between fifteen hundred ($1500) and two thousand ($2000) dollars. All this can be summarized by saying that once a proper venting system is installed in a house with high level of radon, that’s the end of the radon problem.
SELLER’S DISCLOSURE STATEMENT – Most realtor today require a disclosure statement from the seller. The purpose of the disclosure statement is to have the seller disclose any problems that are not readily observable, or any serious problems that have been repaired. A smart buyer will obtain a copy of the disclosure statement and study it in detail before spending one cent for inspections. There may have been repairs or a present condition that you, the buyer, may not want to deal with after the purchase. Everything is fixable, but for some buyers any type of repair is too much fixing. The standard New Jersey realtor disclosure statement is very detailed and informative. Click on the following web site for an example of the New Jersey realtor association disclosure statement.
EIFS SIDING – If the house you are buying has EIFS (Exterior Insulation Finish Systems) siding, it must be inspected by a EIFS specialist and the inspection is expensive. This type of siding has a history of water penetration which results in wood rot and mold problems. When water penetrates this type of siding, the foam insulation behind the siding act like a sponge that traps and retains water and moisture which causes wood rot and mold problems. EIFS siding has such a poor reputation for causing serious wood rot and mold damage, that it is not unheard of for a seller to remove the EIFS siding and replace it with a standard type siding to sell the house. One more word of caution, do not accept a price reduction to replace the EIFS siding without knowing the exact condition of the structure behind the siding. The last thing you need as the new owner is to find out that the repair cost of any wood rot and or mold damage is ten times the price allowance. To find out more about EIFS siding, click the Christian Building Inspectors of Georgia site address below. They have a great site for EIFS information.
SEPTIC SYSTEM – Although a leaking roof is probably the most common repair, one of the most expensive items to replace is a septic system. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but in New Jersey a septic system costs, on the average, from forty to sixty thousand dollars. For that reason, it’s imperative that you hire a professional licensed septic system inspector. This should be the case especially if the house is an older home with the original septic system. A through septic system inspection will involve tanking the tank top off, inspecting the tank, and flooding the fields with two to three hundred gallons of water to test the absorption rate of the field. The following are some question to ask before you finalize the contract to purchase:
1. Where is the septic system located? It may be located right where you want to install a swimming pool or another structure.
2. How old is the tank and field. A field that is over twenty years old might have been abused. You could need a replacement. To quote Ted Louden’s article from the Michigan State University Agricultural Engineering newspaper.
“Studies that just look at averages without regard to quality of construction or how the system is utilized show that the average life of a septic system is 20 years or more. This is the time period until the system becomes sufficiently clogged with organic material that it either results in effluent coming to the soil surface or backing up in the plumbing and reducing the efficiency of flow from the home. Well constructed, well maintained systems will last longer.”
Also a tank that has been just pumped out could be another sign of trying to extend the life of the system.
3. Have there been any problems with the toilets backing up? If so, what was the problem? Toilet back-up is one of the first signs of a septic system problem. I am not saying because a toilet gets blocked or backs up there is a septic problem, but it could be a sign of trouble with the system.
4. One last tip on inspections, I don’t recommend that you do all your inspections on the same day all at once. Do the inspections one at a time. A full home and termite inspection may also call for a pool inspection, septic inspection, in-ground tank inspection, and others. If one of the inspections reveals a serious problem and you decide not to go ahead with the purchase, you have not yet paid for the additional inspections.
For some excellent information on septic systems, click the public educational site below.
WELL WATER – Well water testing in New Jersey is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In September, 2002, the Private Well Testing Act was instituted. To quote a small important section of the act, “Every contract of sale of real property the potable water supply for which there is a private well located on the property shall include a provision requiring, as a condition of sale, the testing of the water.” In other words, every time a house with a well is sold, the well must be tested by a licensed EPA approved testing laboratory and the well must be tested for all the parameters outlined by the EPA. Normally the seller of the property pays for the well testing and provides the necessary documents for the sale of the property. I personally think this is a very good law that has saved many a family from health problems from a contaminated well.
For more detailed information or the requirements to comply with to private well testing act, click on the EPA address below.
Master Technician Explains the Process of Inspecting and Evaluating Mosquitoes
in your Basement, Garage, Shed and Decking, and Yard
ELIMINEX Residential and Commercial Exterminating NJ
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Real Estate Certificate for Termite Inspection $145 for central NJ
Can visit our termite website directly at
Average sized home for a Termite Treatment ranges from $675 – $865
Can Add Free Installation 4 Termite Bait Stations by ADVANCE TBS
with 3 times a year Service and Monitoring for a fee to provide a year round termite warranty
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One Time treatments for General Insect Pests from a 30 day to 1 year warranty
We also Provide Year Round Service for General Insect Pests and Rodents
Squirrel Trapping and Removal with Repairs comes with option of 6 month and 2 Year Warranty
Mice Exterminating for an average size home we have a promotion providing a 90 day Guarantee with the option to also add exclusion and seal up providing a full unlimited 1 Year Warranty
Attic Cleanup Decontamination is also available after trapping starting at $2 per square foot (400 sf minimum)
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Bed Bug Treatment special we are promoting is the first 2 rooms for $299 each and additional rooms for $175. Follow up treatments for bigger bed bug infestations are optional. Call for details
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Explanation by the professionals of the feeding habits and reproduction Termites and Tubing New Jersey
House mice usually run, walk, or stand on all fours, but when eating, fighting, or orienting themselves, they rear up on their hind legs with additional support from the tail – a behaviour known as “tripoding”. Mice are good jumpers, climbers, and swimmers, and are generally considered to be thigmotactic, i.e. usually attempts to maintain contact with vertical surfaces.
Mice are mostly crepuscular or nocturnal; they are averse to bright lights. The average sleep time of a captive house mouse is reported to be 12.5 hours per day. They live in a wide variety of hidden places near food sources, and construct nests from various soft materials. Mice are territorial, and one dominant male usually lives together with several females and young. Dominant males respect each other’s territories and normally enter another’s territory only if it is vacant. If two or more males are housed together in a cage, they often become aggressive unless they have been raised together from birth.
House mice primarily feed on plant matter, but are omnivorous.They eat their own faeces to acquire nutrients produced by bacteria in their intestines.] House mice, like most other rodents, do not vomit.
Mice are generally afraid of rats which often kill and eat them, a behavior known as muricide. Despite this, free-living populations of rats and mice do exist together in forest areas in New Zealand, North America, and elsewhere. House mice are generally poor competitors and in most areas cannot survive away from human settlements in areas where other small mammals, such as wood mice, are present. However, in some areas (such as Australia), mice are able to coexist with other small rodent species
The social behaviour of the house mouse is not rigidly fixed into species-specific patterns but is instead adaptable to the environmental conditions, such as the availability of food and space. This adaptability allows house mice to inhabit diverse areas ranging from sandy dunes to apartment buildings.
House mice have two forms of social behaviour, the expression of which depends on the environmental context. House mice in buildings and other urbanized areas with close proximity to humans are known as commensal.] Commensal mice populations often have an excessive food source resulting in high population densities and small home ranges. This causes a switch from territorial behaviour to a hierarchy of individuals. When populations have an excess of food, there is less female-female aggression, which usually occurs to gain access to food or to prevent infanticide. Male-male aggression occurs in commensal populations, mainly to defend female mates and protect a small territory.The high level of male-male aggression, with a low female-female aggression level is common in polygamous populations The social unit of commensal house mouse populations generally consists of one male and two or more females, usually related. These groups breed cooperatively, with the females communally nursing. This cooperative breeding and rearing by related females helps increase reproductive success. When no related females are present, breeding groups can form from non-related females.
In open areas such as shrubs and fields, the house mouse population is known as noncommensal. These populations are often limited by water or food supply and have large territories. Female-female aggression in the noncommensal house mouse populations is much higher, reaching a level generally attributed to free-ranging species. Male aggression is also higher in noncommensal populations. In commensal populations, males come into contact with other males quite frequently due to high population densities and aggression must be mediated or the risk of injury becomes too great.
Both commensal and noncommensal house mouse males aggressively defend their territory and act to exclude all intruders. Males mark their territory by scent marking with urine. In marked territories, intruders showed significantly lower aggression than the territory residents.House mice show a male-biased dispersal; males generally leave their birth sites and migrate to form new territories whereas females generally stay and are opportunistic breeders rather than seasona
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Updated February 01, 2016.
What are Bedbugs?
Bedbugs, scientific name Cimex lectularius, are a flat wingless insect, typically of a brown or reddish color. It is typically about half of a centimeter in length (about half the size of a dime). These insects are blood-sucking parasites, and usually feed at night – mostly on people. Feedings typically last about 5 to 10 minutes, and these insects can go months between meals, making them difficult to eradicate.
Bedbugs can be difficult to find, as they tend to hide during the day, although can leave clues to their presence. These include black specks on sheets and mattresses, which are a mix of droppings and other body parts. These insects tend to be found in hotels, homeless shelters, and overcrowd areas, although can also be found in areas of high socioeconomic status.
Do Bedbugs Cause Rashes?
Bedbug bites can be mistaken for allergic rashes, especially urticaria. Bites appear as itchy bumps on skin that is uncovered while sleeping. The rash may be grouped in a line, which shows the pattern of the insect feeding. Bumps tend to be redder in the morning and fade later in the day.
Can I Be Allergic to Bedbugs?
Most people bitten by bedbugs assume that they have experienced an allergic reaction to something. The reaction is typically an irritant effect to the insect bite, and not an allergy. While most people are not allergic to bedbugs, there are rare reports of anaphylaxisoccurring as a result of bedbug bites.
What Can Be Done for Bedbug Bites?
Physicians may misdiagnose bedbug bites as allergic reactions, and treat people with steroid pills, creams or antihistamines.
While antihistamines may decrease the itching associated with the insect bites, these medications will not make the rash go away.Steroid creams, such as hydrocortisone (Cortaid, for example), can help the itch and rash resolve quickly.
Do Bedbugs Cause Other Problems?
If the bumps from bedbugs are scratched to the point of breaking the skin, the bite may become infected.
This may appear as increased pain, redness or oozing at the site, and may worsen, rather than get better, over time. If this occurs, immediate medical attention is needed.
It appears possible that bedbugs may be able to transmit the hepatitis B virus, as this virus has been found in bedbug droppings.
Bedbugs may also be able to transmit the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which causesChagas Disease.
What Can I Do About Bedbugs?
The best way to deal with bedbugs is by extermination. Professional pest control companies can assist with the extermination process, usually with pesticide treatments. Sleeping in long-sleeved shirts and pants may decrease the amount of skin available to be bitten, and some studies suggest that using insect repellents containing DEET may prevent the insects from biting.
BIG BROWN BAT
This medium-sized bat ranges from 4 to 5 in (10–13 cm) in body length, with an 11- to 13-in (28- to 33-cm) wingspan, and weighs between 1/2 and 5/8 oz (14-16 g). The fur is moderately long and shiny brown. The wing membranes, ears, feet, and face are dark brown to blackish in color.
Big brown bats are nocturnal, roosting during the day in hollow trees, beneath loose tree bark, in the crevices of rocks, or in man-made structures such as attics, barns, old buildings, eaves, and window shutters. Big brown bats navigate through the night skies by use of echolocation, producing ultrasonic sounds through the mouth or nose. They are known also to produce audible sound during flight, a click or a sound like escaping steam.
Big brown bats hibernate during the winter months, often in different locations from their summer roosts. Winter roosts tend to be natural subterranean locations such as caves and underground mines where temperatures remain stable; where a large majority of these bats spend the winter is still unknown. If the weather warms enough, they may awaken to seek water, and even breed.
Big brown bats mate sporadically from November through March. After the breeding season, pregnant females separate themselves into maternity colonies. In the eastern United States, twins are commonly born sometime in June; in western North America, females give birth to only one pup each year
Termites are eusocialinsects that are classified at the taxonomic rank of infraorderIsoptera, or as epifamily Termitoidae within the cockroach order Blattodea. Termites were once classified in a separate order from cockroaches, but recent phylogenetic studies indicate that they evolved from close ancestors of cockroaches during the Jurassic or Triassic. It is possible, however, that the first termites emerged during the Permian or even the Carboniferous. Approximately 3,106 species are currently described, with a few hundred more left to be described. Although these insects are often called white ants, they are not ants.
Like ants and some bees and wasps, which are in a separate order, Hymenoptera, termites divide labour among castes that consist of sterile male and female “workers” and “soldiers”. All termite colonies have fertile males called “kings” and one or more fertile females called “queens”. Termites mostly feed on dead plant material and cellulose, generally in the form of wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung. Termites are major detritivores, particularly in the subtropical andtropical regions, and their recycling of wood and plant matter is of considerable ecological importance.
Termites are among the most successful groups of insects on Earth, colonising most landmasses except for Antarctica. Their colonies range in size from a couple of hundred individuals to enormous societies with several million individuals. Termite queens have the longest lifespan of any insect in the world, with some queens living up to 50 years. Unlike ants, which undergo a complete metamorphosis, each individual termite goes through an incomplete metamorphosis that proceeds through egg, nymph and adult stages. Colonies are described as superorganismsbecause the termites form part of a self-regulating entity: the colony itself.
Termites are a delicacy in the diet of some human cultures and are used in many traditional medicines. Several hundred species are economically significant as pests that can cause serious damage to buildings, crops or plantation forests. Some species, such as the West Indian drywood termite (Cryptotermes brevis), are regarded as invasive species.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Taxonomy and phylogeny
- 3 Distribution and diversity
- 4 Description
- 5 Life cycle
- 6 Behaviour and ecology
- 7 Nests
- 8 Relationship with humans
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The infraorder name is derived from the Greek wordsiso (equal) and ptera (winged), which refers to the nearly equal size of the fore-wings and hind-wings. The name “termite” derives from theLatin and Late Latin word termes (“woodworm, white ant”), altered by the influence of Latin terere(“to rub, wear, erode”) from the earlier word tarmes. Termite nests were commonly known asterminarium or termitaria. In early English, termites were known as wood ants or white ants.The modern term was first used in 1781.
Taxonomy and phylogeny
DNA analysis from 16S rRNA sequences has supported a hypothesis, originally suggested by Cleveland and colleagues in 1934, that these insects are most closely related to the wood-eating cockroaches (genus Cryptocercus, the woodroach). This earlier conclusion had been based on the similarity of the symbiotic gut flagellates in the wood-eating cockroaches to those in certain species of termites regarded as living fossils. In the 1960s additional evidence supporting that hypothesis emerged when F. A. McKittrick noted similar morphological characteristics between some termites and Cryptocercus nymphs. These similarities have led some authors to propose that termites be reclassified as a single family, Termitidae, within the order Blattodea, which contains cockroaches. Other researchers advocate the more conservative measure of retaining the termites as Termitoidae, an epifamily within the cockroach order, which preserves the classification of termites at family level and below.
The oldest unambiguous termite fossils date to the early Cretaceous, but given the diversity of Cretaceous termites and early fossil records showing mutualism between microorganisms and these insects, it is likely that they originated at least in the Jurassic or Triassic. Further evidence of a Jurassic origin is the assumption that the extinct Fruitafossor consumed termites, judging from its morphological similarity to modern termite-eating mammals.
Claims for an earlier time period for the emergence of termites stand on controversial footing. For example, F. M. Weesner indicated that Mastotermitidae termites may go back to the Late Permian, 251 million years ago, and fossil wings that have a close resemblance to the wings of Mastotermes of the Mastotermitidae, the most primitive living termite, have been discovered in the Permian layers in Kansas. It is even possible that the first termites emerged during theCarboniferous. Termites are thought to be the descendants of the genus Cryptocercus. The folded wings of the fossil wood roach Pycnoblattina, arranged in a convex pattern between segments 1a and 2a, resemble those seen in Mastotermes, the only living insect with the same pattern. On the other hand, Krishna et al. consider that all of the Paleozoic and Triassic insects tentatively classified as termites are in fact unrelated to termites and should be excluded from the Isoptera.
It has long been accepted that termites are closely related to cockroaches and mantids, and they are classified in the same superorder (Dictyoptera). There is strong evidence suggesting that termites are highly specialised wood-eating cockroaches. The cockroach genusCryptocercus shares the strongest phylogenetical similarity with termites and is considered to be a sister-group to termites. Termites and Cryptocercus share similar morphological and social features: for example, most cockroaches do not exhibit social characteristics, butCryptocercus takes care of its young and exhibits other social behaviour such as trophallaxis andallogrooming. The primitive giant northern termite (Mastotermes darwiniensis) exhibits numerous cockroach-like characteristics that are not shared with other termites, such as laying its eggs in rafts and having anal lobes on the wings. Cryptocercidae and Isoptera are united in the clade Xylophagodea.
Although termites are sometimes called “white ants”, they are actually not ants. Ants belong to the family Formicidae within the order Hymenoptera. The similarity of their social structure to that of termites is attributed to convergent evolution. The oldest termite nest discovered is believed to be from the Upper Cretaceous in west Texas, where the oldest known faecal pellets were also discovered.
As of 2013, about 3,106 living and fossil termite species are recognised, classified in 12 families. The infraorder Isoptera is divided into the following clade and family groups, showing the subfamilies in their respective classification
TIGER MOSQUITOES NEW JERSEY 732-309-4209
Usually both male and female mosquitoes feed on nectar and plant juices. In many species the mouthparts of the females are adapted for piercing the skin of animal hosts and sucking their blood as ectoparasites. In many species, the female needs to get proteins from a blood meal before she can produce eggs. In many other species, she can produce more eggs after a blood meal.
They lay their eggs in pools of water. The larvae move around near the surface of the water, breathing through air tubes that stick out of the water. They get their food from the water, usually eating algae and other tiny creatures. They like to wiggle around near the surface, which is why some people call them wigglers. The larvae usually enter the pupa stage within a few days or weeks of hatching, depending on the water temperature and the species. 
The pupae are called tumblers because they tumble in the water if the water is touched. Tumblers do not eat, but they move around in the water a lot, and like larvae, they breathe from tubes that stick out of the water. The pupa stage is short (only for a few days), and then the mosquito becomes an adult.
There are many species of mosquito. This comes about because, of those which suck blood, each species is adapted to a different host or group of hosts. There are two subfamilies, 43 genera and over 3,500 species of the Culicidae.
The principal mosquito borne diseases are the viral diseases yellow fever, dengue fever and malaria carried by the generaAnopheles and Culex. Mosquitoes transmit disease to more than 700 million people annually inAfrica, South America, Central America, Mexico and much of Asia with millions of resulting deaths.
Methods used to prevent the spread of disease, or to protect individuals in areas where disease is endemic include:
- Vector control aimed at mosquito eradication. Habitat change: removing stagnant water and other breeding areas; pesticides; natural predators; and trapping.
- Disease prevention, using prophylacticdrugs and vaccines; and preventing mosquito bites, with insecticides, nets and repellents.
Standing water, as in a pond or lake, is the main breeding ground. It may or may not be practical to eliminate this water. The water in bird baths can be changed once a week, but one can hardly do that with larger bodies of water. The method used to be: spray water with DDT, but that does a lot of damage, and in any event the mosquito is now highly resistant to the chemical.
With increasing reports of the harmful effects DEET has on humans, there has been a move to repellents which are organic. These are of the kind that have had traditional household purposes before their being used as mosquito repellents.
The dragonfly nymph eats mosquitoes at all stages of development and is quite effective in controlling populations. Some copepods are predators on first instar larvae, killing up to 40 Aedes larvae per day. A number of fish eat mosquito larvae, including goldfish, catfish, piranhas, and minnows.
They are eusocial animals, as are ants and some bees and wasps. Termites mostly feed on detritus, mostly wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung. There are an estimated 4,000 species (about 2,600 taxonomically known). About 10% are pests which can cause serious structural damage to buildings, crops or plantation forests.
A termite colony starts when winged termites (called alates) swarm and mate. After mating, they fall to the ground and rip off their wings. The female looks for a good place to start the colony, and the male follows her. Most termites nest underground their entire lives, but termites in Africa and Australia actually build really big mound structures that look like little mountains and can be more than 20 feet tall (see photo below).
Termites live in colonies that, at maturity, hold from several hundred to several million individuals. They are a prime example self-organised systems which use swarm intelligence. They use this cooperation to exploit food sources and environments which would not be available to any single insect acting alone. A typical colony contains nymphs (semi-mature young), workers, soldiers, and reproductive individuals of both genders, sometimes containing several egg-laying queens
Adult bed bugs are light brown to reddish-brown, flattened, oval-shaped, and have no hind wings. The front wings are vestigial and reduced to pad-like structures. Bed bugs have segmented abdomens with microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance. Adults grow to 4–5 mm (0.16–0.20 in) long and 1.5–3 mm (0.059–0.118 in) wide.
Newly hatched nymphs are translucent, lighter in color, and become browner as they moult and reach maturity. A bed bug nymph of any age that has just consumed a blood meal has a bright red, translucent abdomen, fading to brown over the next several hours, and to opaque black within two days as the insect digests its meal. Bed bugs may be mistaken for other insects, such as booklice, small cockroaches, or carpet beetles; however, when warm and active, their movements are more ant-like and, like most other true bugs, they emit a characteristic disagreeable odor when crushed.
Bed bugs use pheromones and kairomones to communicate regarding nesting locations, feeding, and reproduction.
The lifespan of bed bugs varies by species and is also dependent on feeding.
Bed bugs can survive a wide range of temperatures and atmospheric compositions. Below 16.1 °C (61.0 °F), adults enter semi hibernation and can survive longer; they can survive for at least five days at −10 °C (14 °F), but die after 15 minutes of exposure to −32 °C (−26 °F). Common commercial and residential freezers reach temperatures low enough to kill most life stages of bed bug, with 95% mortality after 3 days at −12 °C (10 °F). They show high desiccation tolerance, surviving low humidity and a 35–40 °C range even with loss of one-third of body weight; earlier life stages are more susceptible to drying out than later ones.
SQUIRREL DAMAGE: STRUCTURAL AND CONTAMINATION
Eastern Grey Squirrels commonly enter houses either by chewing holes along the facia or in dormer corners, or by entering any existing gaps 1-2 inches in diameter. Once inside they may chew on electrical wiring or phone lines, displace or pack down and soil insulation, and make noise with their activities. The best way to rid squirrel problems is to first remove the problem squirrels by trapping and relocating and then patching holes to prevent further problems. Trimming any trees away from the house is also a good idea.
Squirrels occasionally damage lawns by burying or searching for and digging up nuts . They will chew bark and clip twigs on ornamental trees or shrubbery planted in yards. Often squirrels take food at bird feeders. Sometimes they chew to enlarge openings of bird houses and they enter to eat nestling songbirds. Flying squirrels are small enough to enter most bird houses and are especially likely to eat nesting birds.
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